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JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race

Ellen MacArthur takes overall line honours in Cowes

100ft maxi Leopard is first monohull • Jonny Malbon wins Open 60 class

samedi 23 juin 2007Redaction SSS [Source RP]

Hitting speeds of close to 30 knots the Extreme 40 JPMorgan Asset Management helmed by Ellen MacArthur took line honours in the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race today after 4 hours and 6 minutes of full-on racing. Fifty seconds, at 0916 BST later, the Extreme 40 ABN AMRO slipped across the line making it a one, two for this 40-ft catamaran class who are competing in the event as one of the iShares Endurance Races in the iShares Cup Extreme 40 series.

Nick Moloney’s Offshore Challenges Sailing Team, had to officially retire having received outside support during a man-over-board incident, finished seven minutes later crossing the line in fourth as Mike Slade’s brand new 100-ft monohull ICAP Leopard, which scuppered the potential Extreme 40 hat-trick by squeezing across the finish line 54 seconds before in third place.

Ellen MacArthur : "What an incredible race and what an amazing event to be a part of. My main goal being here was to help raise money for the Ellen MacArthur Trust, but to win the line honours as well was fantastic. It was an exhilarating race for the Extreme 40 crew and we had everything thrown at us. Three-metre high waves and a gusty 12-17 knot winds on the south side of the island were almost too strong for us but the Extreme 40s coped fantastically. They are designed for inshore racing but today we were pretty much offshore and thank goodness everything held together for the team."

Nick Moloney : "We had some great sailing today, but the problems were really stressful. It was definitely the most adventurous three hours I have ever spent on a boat, hitting 26 knots on the backside of the island."

Press info Extreme 40 Sailing Series / www.iSharesCup.com

Mike Slade’s new supermaxi yacht, ICAP Leopard, took monohull line honours in the JP Morgan Round the Island Race. Completing the 55 mile course in just 4 hours 23 minutes and 5 seconds, ICAP Leopard was only a matter of minutes from breaking the Round the Island Race record Record #sailingrecord , held by Slade’s previous boat, Leopard of London in 2001.

Starting the annual dash around the island just after dawn, ICAP Leopard’s crew of America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup and Volvo Ocean Race Volvo Ocean Race #VolvoOceanRace legends sailed an almost faultless race. First boat to the Needles, she blasted round the south side of the island to St Catherine’s point before beating back upwind through the Solent to the finish line off Cowes. Having recently arrived in the UK after being built at McConaghy Boats, Australia, the crew of 28 plus eight guests pushed the boat hard in around 14 knots of breeze, amongst a fleet of 1,799 boats.

Mike Slade : “We are absolutely thrilled the with the new ICAP Leopard. She feels fantastic, really well balanced, and for a brand new boat straight out of the box, she performed absolutely superbly today. St Catherine’s point is always tricky, but we had a cracking sail round the back of the island to Bembridge with the kite up all the way from the Needles. With today’s wind direction we had a lot of tacking up the Solent to do which slows you down, so sadly we didn’t quite beat the record Record #sailingrecord , but we’re not disappointed at all - and there’s always next year !”

Press info Pitch PR / www.leopard3.com

In the Open 60 class, the overall win comes to Artemis Ocean Racing (AOR), which crossed the finish line of the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race at 10.26 UK. Tthe Artemis crew arrived half an hour before Dee Caffari onboard Aviva, time, winning the Open 60 Class. The boat, lead by British skipper Jonny Malbon, was only the third monohull in the race to cross the finish line off Cowes after 5 hours, 26 minutes and 7 seconds despite conditions that were not suited to optimal performance.

Jonny Malbon : “Obviously I am really happy with our result. It is really good to be the first Open 60, but also to be the third monohull across the line, close behind Bounder which is a new and powerful boat. Congratulations to Leopard and it was a shame that she was so short of beating the race record. It was a very early morning for us. We got up at three and it was still dark when we sailed to the start line. 44 boats were on our start line and the weather was as expected, with light winds of five to ten knots from the West. Artemis got a very good start in the first row, with Leopard and Bounder ahead of us. We were right up there at the top of the fleet and had a short tack all the way down the Solent, which is always difficult on a canting keel boat like Artemis. We had to deal with a big swell which was largely formed by the tide. We sat on it as much as possible to get our boat speed up and just played around up and down the waves. When we got to the Needles, we knew we would be a bit quicker so we put the big spinnaker up and chose a totally different tactic from most of the boats, who tried to stay inshore. We went offshore, which is much easier for us and that was when we made some massive gains. Before we knew it, we were probably in second or third place on the water (monohull). Leopard obviously took off but we had quite a good battle with Bounder from Saint Catherine’s point at the tip of the Isle of Wight all the way to the finish line. In the end, Bounder only finished a few minutes ahead of us. “We hit 20 knots a few times during the race and with downwind sailing we were doing 14 to 18 knots on average. These conditions were quite difficult for us as short tacking in the Solent is not our strongest point of sail. We had a very, very good crew onboard. It is a good bunch of guys and we have basically enjoyed it and had great fun. I have clocked up a significant amount of miles on the boat now and she is great. I love the Artemis boat and I am really confident with her. She is light, fully optimised and as a boat right now, she is pretty much together.”

Press information Artemis Ocean Racing / www.artemisoceanracing.com

The final overall positions for the race will not be decided until the bulk of the 1753-boat fleet have finished the 55-mile course. Results can be found at www.roundtheisland.org.uk


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